Creating Employment Opportunities for Vulnerable Minorities
»» In the Northern part of Thailand, there is a distinct lack of education and employment opportunities for the vulnerable ethnic Karen minorities who often become victims of human trafficking, are forced to work in sweatshops or are sold into slavery.
In Thailand in general, there is also a lack of hospitality training which is generally classroom-based and not sufficiently practical or meeting the professional service requirements of the industry.
To address both of these challenges concurrently, the IECD created a vocational training program in hospitality and catering in Mae Sot for young marginalized Karens, which provides both theoretical and practical training over 2 years, at no cost.
Solidarity Accor was involved in supporting the set-up of the Hospitality Catering Training Center (HCTC) to accommodate this training; and through the Accor Hotels Planet 21 sustainable development program, the company has been assisting these trainees with internships as well as employment opportunities in the company’s 70+ hotels.
Kasemsri Bannangodngam is a teacher at the HCTC’s restaurant. As the first in her village to study at the school, to graduate and to get a job, she is an inspiration to other young people in the region to seek out and realize a better future for themselves and their families.
And with Bangkok recently surpassing London as the number one tourist destination in the world, it’s these types of initiatives that will provide inclusive, win-win solutions, growing value and delivering business impact whilst contributing towards sustainable social upliftment and the global development agenda.